A man from western Jamaica, who the police allege is one of the island's most deadly contract killers, has skipped bail and is now on the run, sparking fears in police circles that he could be about to unleash another reign of terror in that section of the island.
The 28-year-old is facing charges of murder, four counts of illegal possession of firearm, and four counts of shooting with intent.
He appeared before the St James Circuit Court on several occasions after he was arrested by the police in 2020, but his application for bail was rejected on each occasion.
Earlier this year his lawyers took the matter to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston where, following an application in chambers, he was granted bail in the sum of $500,000 with two sureties and strict reporting conditions.
The alleged contract killer, who told the court that he was unable to walk and required surgery, was ordered to not return to St James unless it was to attend court, not to leave the Kingston house of the family member who had bailed him unless it was to go to hospital or court, report directly or have a representative report to the Kingston Central Police Station between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm Mondays to Fridays, not to contact the witnesses, and to surrender his travel documents to the police.
But when the case was called up in court earlier this week, the alleged contract killer was not present and subsequent checks by the police determined that he had fled from the house where the court had ordered him to stay.
As police confirmed that the alleged hit man was now on the run, Jamaica Observer sources pointed out that he is on a quest to avenge the death of his brother who was fatally shot in December 2020 in St James during a conflict between two gangs.
The sources pointed out that the man has been linked to several murders which he was allegedly paid to commit on behalf of rival gangs in western Jamaica.
"This man is only loyal to his money and his gun. Him will take money from anybody to mash a work for them," said one Observer source.
"He is known as somebody who is cold and will kill anywhere and anytime," added the source as he pointed to six murders which the alleged contract killer was charged with in 2013.
According to material which the police produced in court, in 2013 the accused man travelled to Norwood, St James, where he opened fire at a group of people, killing three. Less than one hour later he was in North Gully, St James, where he opened fire at people, again leaving three dead.
Acting on information, the police tracked and arrested him before charging him with all six murders.
But after he was remanded for several months, he was freed by the court as witnesses, including those who had identified him as the shooter in the incidents, failed to appear for the trial.
Since being freed of the murder charges the police have linked him to several barbaric acts, including the brazen daylight fatal shooting of a man in Adelphi, St James, in November 2019.
In December 2019, the police went in search of the suspected killer, who intelligence suggested was on his way to carry out a contract killing on behalf of a gang, but he managed to elude the police, leaving behind a Glock pistol with 29 rounds of ammunition.
The hunt continued for him until September 2020 when members of the security forces responded to reports of the fatal shooting of a man in Catherine Hall, St James. On arrival the members of the security forces said they were engaged in a firefight by two men who had reportedly killed the man.
When the shooting ended the two men were found with gunshot wounds and two illegal firearms taken from them. When one of the men was identified as the island's most wanted contract killers, the police were confident that they now had sufficient evidence to put him away for a very long time.
But now that he has skipped bail, there are concerns that he could soon resume a life of killings and extortion, which made him feared in sections of western Jamaica for years.
"These judges who are quick to grant bail to these dangerous violence producers do not consider what they could be unleashing on the people of Jamaica. We have repeatedly argued that violent criminals are being granted bail too easily," a policeman, who had tracked the alleged contract killer for years, argued.
"This is a very dangerous killer who is now on the loose to continue his terrorism because a judge either did not read or act on his antecedence before granting bail. This is so frustrating," he said.